A new study from Winston & Strawn reveals that Apple is now targeted by more patent trolls than any other company in the world, facing 44 lawsuits in 2012 alone. The Silicon Valley-based law firm revealed its findings recently during a presentation at Stanford University, noting that smartphone makers Apple and Samsung both recently surpassed HP as the biggest targets.
Patent trolls, officially referred to as non-practicing entities (NPEs) are companies that don’t make any products themselves but instead focus on accruing as many patents as possible, either by developing their own or buying up pre-existing technology, then suing companies for infringing on those patents. According to Winston & Strawn, 4,200 different companies and people were sued by patent trolls in 2012 alone.
During the presentation, Winston & Strawn vice chair of intellectual property Michael Brody argued that new legislation may take a bite out of the growing patent troll business. Congress recently introduced a bill that would reduce the ability of NPEs to sue manufacturers. Meanwhile, other organizations have also formed in the hopes of gathering up as many patents as possible with the intention of keeping them out of the hands of patent trolls.